’Canes in the Community

Share Wellness With Our Community: Read a Book to Children

Volunteering and giving back to the community is an excellent way to give and receive joy. And feeling joy enhances your overall well-being, which is why the second annual Week of Well-Being is partnering with the United Way and George Washington Carver Elementary  to provide storybook readings to students on Friday, April 11, from 9 to 10 a.m., or from 1 to 2 p.m. Sign up by Friday, March 28 for this opportunity to bring a smile to a child’s face. Spaces are limited and you must obtain supervisor  approval prior to registering.

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Team Up with the Hurricanes and the Be The Match Registry to Help Save a Life

Hurricane football players volunteer at last year's Be The Match Marrow Drive.

Hurricane football players volunteer at last year’s Be The Match Marrow Donor Drive.

On any given day, more than 6,000 men, women, and children with leukemia, lymphoma, and other life-threatening diseases search the Be The Match Registry for a life-saving bone marrow donor.

On Wednesday, April 9, head coach Al Golden and the Miami Hurricanes football squad will encourage everyone to get in the game and help save a life. The Hurricanes will team up with the Be the Match Foundation to host the fourth annual UM Marrow Donor Drive from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Well ’Canes Farmers Market on the Foote Green.

Fifteen minutes is all it takes to help save a life. Registration involves completing a health history form and providing a swab of cheek cells. UM coaches, players, and volunteers will be on-site to assist participants throughout the day.

To join the registry, potential donors must be between 18 and 60 years old, meet health guidelines, and be willing to donate to any patient in need. Donors with diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds are especially needed.

For thousands of patients a marrow transplant is their best or only hope for a cure. Most do not have a matching donor within their families, so they depend on the Be The Match Registry to find someone who can give them a second chance at life.

For more information, view this video message from Be The Match Registry, visit BeTheMatch.org, or call 800-MARROW-2.

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Faculty and Staff Support the U: Medical Education Pioneer is a Donor for All Seasons

Dr. Gordon Teaching with Harvey

Dr. Michael S. Gordon, center, revolutionized medical education with Harvey, the first cardiopulmonary patient simulator, who he has introduced to countless students.

Over his long and distinguished career at the University of Miami’s Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Michael Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., revolutionized medical education around the world. He created Harvey, the world’s first cardiopulmonary patient simulator, and UMedic, an innovative computer- and Web-based program, to train physicians, emergency responders and military personnel to save countless lives.

“Our University has given me every opportunity to apply my ideas to education and supported these innovations,” says Gordon, the founder and director emeritus of the Michael S. Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education. “I will always be grateful to the U.”

With his wife, Lynda, Gordon provides ongoing financial support to the Gordon Center and raised funds to endow a chair for its director, S. Barry Issenberg, M.D., associate dean for research in medical education and the Michael S. Gordon Professor of Medicine.

A donor for all seasons, Gordon also has funded scholarships for medical students, and contributed to the Richter Library, Frost School of Music, Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, Department of Athletics and other programs.

“My mother, Dorée, was a leading lady on Broadway at age 17 who gave up her career to marry my father, Lee,” Gordon recalls. “By supporting the University’s theater and music programs, we honor her memory. I also love watching the ’Canes play football and bought the best season tickets as soon as I could afford to do so.”

A native of Chicago, Gordon planned to become a research biochemist and earned his doctorate before training with renowned cardiologist, Proctor Harvey, M.D., his mentor and the “godfather” of the patient simulator. Robert Boucek, M.D., the chair of cardiology at the time, invited Gordon to join the UM faculty in 1966, launching his remarkable academic career.

Gordon’s first cardiology patients included several airline pilots who had honed their piloting skills on flight simulators. Recognizing that simulators also could help medical students improve their bedside cardiac examination skills, Gordon built his first version of Harvey in 1968. Today, at the touch of a button, the life-sized mannequin realistically simulates nearly every cardiac disease by varying blood pressure, pulses, heart sounds, murmurs, and breathing.

In the 1980s, Gordon went on to develop a computer-based learning system, now called UMedic, which provides Web-based training for cardiology, neurology, and emergency medicine skills worldwide. Through the Gordon Center, the University also trains thousands of paramedics, Army field surgeons, and other personnel in many advanced life support procedures.

Last year, Gordon received the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s most prestigious health care honor, the AXA Advisors Lifetime Achievement Award.

“By helping those who serve and protect our citizens and our country, we have been able to reduce mortality tremendously,” says Gordon, who stepped down as director in December. “The Miller School of Medicine plays a unique role in medical education, and it is a privilege and pleasure for me to give back to our University.”

Have you made a commitment to support the University of Miami, or know a colleague who has? Share your story or nominate a UM faculty or staff member here, and you will be entered for a chance to win a special gift.



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Become a Marine Biologist for a Day through Rescue-a-Reef Initiative

MIAMI, Fla. (March 12, 2014) — Do you want to help rescue Florida’s coral reefs? Through the new Rescue-a-Reef research program at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, citizens are invited to join scientists underwater to help restore coral reefs.

The citizen science program takes SCUBA divers or snorkelers to coral nursery restoration sites near Miami to conduct nursery maintenance and assist in planting nursery corals at natural reef sites. In addition, participants will have access to an online virtual expedition, which provides in-depth information about the coral nursery and restoration process.

“Instead of just watching our coral reefs decline, we have an opportunity to contribute to their persistence and recovery,” said Diego Lirman, associate professor of marine biology and ecology and lead scientist of the Rescue-a-Reef initiative. “The community can become part of the solution through our Rescue-a-Reef coral reef restoration program.”

The Rescue-a-Reef initiative is a collaboration between the Rosenstiel School Benthic Ecology Lab and the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program. Lirman established the first Rosenstiel School underwater coral nursery in 2007 in Miami-Dade County with two additional nurseries added in 2009 and 2013. Nursery-grown colonies produce a sustainable stock of corals, which can then be transplanted to degraded reefs without the need for continuous collections from wild populations.

The Rescue-a-Reef initiative is modeled after the Shark Citizen Science Program, led by Neil Hammerschlag, a Rosenstiel School research assistant professor. Citizen Science is an opportunity for non-professional scientists to be involved in scientific inquiry through proactive participation with scientists working on real-time problems relating to their research. Participation involves scientifically sound practices and measurable outcomes.

“The program provides a unique opportunity for someone to be a marine biologist for a day to assist with research that supports the health of our coral reefs,” said Hammerschlag, director of the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program.

Coral reefs provide critical habitat to a countless number of plants and animals and are under threat by climate change, destructive fishing techniques, pollution, disease, and coral bleaching.

For more information on the Rescue-a-Reef initiative, visit: rjd.miami.edu/research/projects/coral-restoration. To join a trip, email RJD.Participate@gmail.com

For those who want to help coral reefs, but prefer to stay dry, donations can be made to support the coral nurseries as well as reef outplanting and maintenance. Donations can be made online at www.Rescueareef.com or by contacting Caroline Hammerschlag at 305-421-4207.

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Camp Kesem Holds Inaugural ‘Make the Magic Charity Gala’ on April 5 to Help Kids Affected by Cancer

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 12, 2014) — When a parent is diagnosed with cancer, the entire family is affected. For children, the carefree joys of childhood are replaced with new responsibilities, anger, guilt, and the fear of losing a parent. Families will seek out support for their children and discover that there are very few services available to them in the South Florida community. Enter Camp Kesem.

Camp Kesem’s mission is to recognize and embrace the often-overlooked community of children affected by a parent’s cancer. The organization also empowers college students nationwide to create free, life-changing summer camps for these children. Since 2007, the Camp Kesem Miami chapter, which is fully organized and executed by University of Miami students, has served nearly 80 families in South Florida and worked tirelessly to ensure their children receive the attention they deserve.

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, Camp Kesem Miami will host its inaugural Make the Magic Charity Gala, its largest fundraising initiative of the year,  at the University of Miami Student Activities Center. Tickets are $50 for the general community and $30 for University of Miami students and Camp Kesem alumni. All proceeds will benefit Camp Kesem.

The Make the Magic Charity Gala will bring together members of the South Florida community to support Camp Kesem’s mission and directly connect community partners with the families Camp Kesem Miami serves. Dinner will be catered by Lime Fresh Mexican Grill and the evening will feature gift raffles and presentations from Camp Kesem Miami directors Danielle Glynn and Ana Moas, as well as longtime camper Rachael Coates.

“Once you go to this camp it’s going to feel like a new home to you,” camper Alexis Amodeo told local news station WSVN. “Camp Kesem has changed my life. I honestly don’t know where I would be if I had never joined the Kesem family.” Amodeo has attended Camp Kesem since the passing of her father.

Volunteers are equally impacted.

“Camp Kesem gave me the opportunity to indulge my passion for working with children while making a real, immediate difference in the lives of those who have few places to turn to for unconditional support and understanding,” said Moas. “The bonds I have made with our campers have changed my life.”

Seating for the gala is limited and RSVP-only. For more information or to inquire about attending, email miami@campkesem.org.


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